A day after designating the former three-time All-Star for assignment, the Mariners will open a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals.
The Mariners, who stopped a seven-game skid with a 2-1 victory over Texas on Sunday, cut Boone before the game. Seattle has 10 days to trade the 36-year-old second baseman or place him on waivers.
“It’s tough. I was looking at it, and I think it’s all for the better, really. I think it’s time for me to go,” Boone said Sunday. “It’s still emotional. I’m actually excited about what the future holds but … It’s a pretty sad day for me.”
Boone, a career .266 hitter with 252 home runs and 1,018 RBIs, was hitting just .231 with seven homers and 34 RBIs this season. He was benched for four games two weeks ago to work on his swing with batting instructor Don Baylor. Once he returned, he played well during a three-game series in San Diego, but manager Mike Hargrove said the turnaround was short-lived because Boone started to struggle again.
Jose Lopez will be the regular second baseman from now on. Lopez played in 57 games with Seattle last season—almost all at shortstop—but focused on learning second base over the winter and this season with Triple-A Tacoma.
“Lopez is here to play second base,” Hargrove said. “We feel like his time is now.”
The struggling Royals were swept by the Los Angeles Angels over the weekend, including Sunday’s 5-0 rain-shortened win that lasted five innings.
Kansas City has won only twice in its last 15 games and scored in only one of the 23 innings in the three-game series against Los Angeles. The Royals scored three runs in the eighth inning of a 5-3 loss to Bartolo Colon on Saturday and were shut out on two hits by Paul Byrd on Friday.